Crumlin hospital apologises to teenage girl left paralysed

Emily Casey (18) received €4.8m settlement after screw surgery damaged her spinal cord

Emily Casey (18), from Dalkey, Co Dublin pictured leaving court  after the High Court approved €4.75m payment to her following a High Court action. Photographs: Collins Courts

Emily Casey (18), from Dalkey, Co Dublin pictured leaving court after the High Court approved €4.75m payment to her following a High Court action. Photographs: Collins Courts

 

A teenage girl left paralysed after undergoing surgery on her spine at a Dublin hospital six years ago has received an apology in the High Court.

The apology was given to Emily Casey (18) as part of a final settlement – totalling €4.8 million – of her action against Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin and consultant orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Moore.

Counsel for the defendants Eoin McCullough SC offered a sincere apology to the 18-year-old woman and her family for what occurred. Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved a further €3.1 million settlement on top of an €1.75 million interim payment to Ms Casey last May, bringing the final settlement figure to €4.8 million.

Ms Casey, who celebrates her 19th birthday on Friday had claimed she suffered injury after a screw was inserted into her spinal cord during an operation at Our Ladies Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, to treat curvature of the spine, on December 8th 2009.

As a result of her spinal cord being severely damaged, Ms Casey is paralysed from the chest down, confined to a wheelchair, and requires care and assistance.

Through her mother Stephanie, Nerano Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, Ms Casey sued the hospital and a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Dr David Moore.

Ms Casey’s counsel Liam Reidy SC said liability was admitted in the case last May. He told the court that Ms Casey had contracted meningitis when aged four. This resulted in ongoing health problems but she was after time able to walk with a frame and had a degree of independence.

In 2009, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine and underwent surgery on her spine at Crumlin, he said. Her injuries were caused when a special screw, known as a pedicle screw, was wrongly inserted into her spinal cord.

The screw was removed following further surgery the following day, he added. Ms Casey remained in hospital until April 2010, when she was moved to the the National Rehabilitation Centre. Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said it meant Ms Casey would not have to got through the trauma of having to give evidence in court.

He wished the family well for the future. Outside court Ms Casey said she was relieved and delighted and she was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her parents and family.

Her mother Stephanie said it had been a long legal road but her daughter would now have all the services she required.